The smell of cookies and the music of Christmas filled the air as my 3-month-old sat in his bouncy chair on the kitchen table watching me press cookie cutters into dough. I looked out at the dark house across the street, empty as my neighbor Mary Lee cuddled her newborn at Yale-New Haven Hospital. The baby coming home would be a friend for my infant son. It was 1988.
The next day I spotted a green tin at Pier 1 — perfect to fill with cookies. Mary Lee loved the cookies I baked and decorated for every occasion; she’d once jokingly asked, “Is Veterans Day a cookie holiday?” We’d been neighbors just a few months, but we’d become fast friends.